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To prevent falls by elderly residents, the Injury Prevention Center of Greater Dallas suggests the following tips to make homes safer.


Living room

- Make sure a light can be turned on without walking into a dark room.
- Keep lamp, extension and phone cords out of the flow of traffic.
- Passageways should be free from clutter, including papers and furniture.
- Curtains and furniture must be at least 12 inches from baseboard or portable heaters to prevent fire.
- Carpets must lie flat on the floor. Area rugs usually are too slippery.

Kitchen

- Stove controls must be easy to see and use.
- Loose-fitting clothing, towels and curtains must be kept away from burners and the oven to prevent fires.
- Regularly used items should not require climbing in order to reach them.
- A stepstool should be sturdy and in good repair.

Bedrooms

- Smoke detectors should be close to where people are sleeping.
- Lights should be accessible without having to walk into a dark room.
- Lamp or light switches should be within easy reach of the bed.
- Telephones should be within easy reach of the bed.
- A light should be left on at night between the bed and the bathroom.
- Curtains should be at least 12 inches away from a portable heater.


Bathroom

- Showers and tubs should have a non-skid surface when wet. Use a bathmat, decals or abrasive strips.
- A sturdy grab bar should be installed in shower and tub area.
- The bathroom floor should have a non-slip surface.
- The toilet should be easy to get on and off.
- Hot water temperature should be 120 degrees or lower.

Outdoors

- Outside steps should have sturdy handrails on both sides.
- There should be sufficient lighting outside the door.
- Steps should be in good repair.

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